Dogs and water – a good and bad combination. During the warmer months in the spring and summer, we are thirsty. It’s important for your pup to have clean fresh water available at all times. If you are exercising in the heat, please bring water along for your dog. If you are thirsty, you can bet your dog is too! While water seems like a harmless thing, there are precautions that should be taken.
We have lots of water available to us at home. Our outside bowl on the deck is cleaned and filled partially with fresh water every day at least once. To not waste water, our bowl isn’t filled to the brim, and Mom dumps the dirty water into the plants before going inside to clean and refill the bowl. Be careful using a stainless steel bowl outside as it can get very hot in the sun. Normally we have an eco-friendly bowl for our outdoor water.
Don’t let the water sit in the outdoor bowl for more than a day at a time. Standing water attracts bugs, and lots of dirt and bacteria. Either clean and refill the bowl, or empty it completely.
Keep your dog from drinking water out of standing water such as puddles, ponds, and lakes. Although that water may look fine, it could be full of many harmful substances, and bacteria. Standing water is also a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Dogs who drink a lot from standing water run the risk of contracting diseases from the bacteria, one of the worst being Leptospirosis. This is a potentially deadly bacterial infection which can lead to the kidneys and liver shutting down. If your dog must drink from lakes, ponds, or puddles, you should find out from your veterinarian if the Leptospirosis vaccine is a good idea for your dog.
We have been told “no” from early on when it comes to drinking this kind of water, so we normally avoid it. This puddle in the photo above is almost always there. In the winter it freezes and becomes an ice patch hidden under snow. It is the ice spot where Mom slipped and broke her ankle three years ago. Bailie was running with her that morning, so she knows this puddle well, and is not a fan of it. The hope is that when they widen the road this summer, it will disappear.
For dogs who don’t like to drink much water, a water fountain may help to entice them. We have a fountain upstairs in the bathroom. It is mainly for the kitties, but in the summer, we dogs love to drink from it. The porcelain keeps the water cool, and we like the fountain part. Because our beards hold a lot of dirt, it needs to be cleaned a lot, but Mom still thinks it is a good way for us to drink.
Another danger of dogs and water is drinking too much, too fast. Even if your dog comes inside and seems like she could drink an entire bowl of water, slow her down. Bloat is not only caused by dogs eating too much food too fast, it can come from too much water in the tummy. At our house we have three water stations in the house, all located in spots where we spend a lot of time. Mom wants us to have water when we start to get thirsty, not when we are overly thirsty.
When out and about, once things are all open again, keep your pup away from any community water bowls. Not only do you not know how fresh the water is, it has germs from all the dogs that drank out of the bowl before your dog. We always keep water in the car for us pups in case we get thirsty. It’s easy to keep a bottle of water and a collapsible bowl in the car for the dog.
How much water does a dog really need to drink? Is your dog drinking enough? They say, depending on activity level, air temperature, and the health of a dog, somewhere between a half ounce to an ounce per pound of dog. That means two and a half to five cups a day for a forty pound dog. Of course, this should be spread out over the entire day. Olivia is about forty pounds, and the measuring cup has about five cups of water in it for her.
Do you have any other good safety tips for dogs and water for the upcoming warm weather?